We have just stepped inside the door of a brand new year! As the old year closes behind us, we squint to see as far as we can into the landscape ahead. What words stir your senses as you peer into tomorrow? Adventure? Excitement? Uncertainty? More of the same old, same old?
What if you were given a new word for this new year? What if someone handed you a road map with one word on it: “Freedom”. Then they pointed and said, “Walk this way.” Would you go?
I found that map this week. It was in the form of a verse from the Bible. A wise piece of scripture to camp on as we enter this fresh new year. Listen to these bold words of direction.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be entangled again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
As Jesus followers, we are set free from the judgment and guilt of our own bad choices, by believing in and receiving Christ’s forgiveness. But that’s just the beginning.
With the one-word map in our hands, we are pointed in the direction of actually living free! Free from anxiety. Free from crippling fear. Free from things that tangle our feet and keep us bound up. How? By being intentional about what we “yoke” or “team up” with every day.
Standing firm as we enter this new territory of a new year, means refusing to team up with the things that tangle us up and actually rob us of walking free. Worry, fear, discouragement, criticism, negativity, temptations of all kinds, can keep freedom at bay when we join up with them. And it’s easy to do. The subtle edge of discontentment and worry pushes us in their direction. We can become slaves to them before we even realize it.
Yes, uncertainty does fog the landscape as we look ahead. Among the joys, doctor appointments, job insecurity, financial strain, relationship stress, addiction struggles may also be a part of the journey. W
What we team up with daily, as we navigate the stuff of life, will keep us walking in faith or in fear. It takes intentional choices every day.
Before our feet hit the floor in the morning let’s choose to invite God into our day. Choose to have faith in our always wise, always loving, always present God to help us stand firm; anchored through the fog and storms by the One who can see the way. Trusting His love. Trusting His help. Asking Him for strength and wisdom daily, especially when anxiety threatens to steal our peace.
Faith will override fear. It’s more than positive thinking. It’s divine strength and wisdom given as we reach for God’s hand when the winds of life blow, letting Him create peace and calm in our hearts and minds.
Fear will override faith. We can choose to team up with fear and get tangled up in stress and habits that wear down our health and our relationships, creating havoc in our hearts and minds.
Everyday we get to choose. This new year let’s determine to walk in freedom each day by teaming up with intentional trust in the Lord God in a fresh way. Let’s seek His wisdom daily and rely on His Spirit to guide our every step.
When peace and calm seem to have vanished from your day, ask yourself what you have teamed up with. Stop right there, stand firm, ask God to restore your faith and trust in Him. Anchor yourself in His love and care once again. Everything else will simply tangle you up. Choose freedom daily and “walk this way”.
Thank you that You give direction through Your word. Thank you that You caution me to be aware of what I team up with today. It’s easy to let the day simply carry me in many directions that leave me tangled and not walking free. Today I invite You into my day, into my thoughts and my choices. Today I choose to trust You for Your strength, Your calm and Your wisdom as I walk. Let the freedom You offer carry me today and in this new year. I choose to firmly take my stand trusting You to override fear in its many disguises. Thank you for Your love and care. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.